-Dr. Kathy Johnson, PhD, CMC
For those with Alzheimer’s, a cold or the stomach flu can lead to an increase in their memory loss. This research was conducted and written about in American Academy of Neurology.
The research showed that those that had respiratory infections or even bruises from falling had high levels of a tumor necrosis factor alpha, a protein that is part of the inflammatory process. Those people were susceptible to memory loss than those that had low levels of protein or no infections.
The survey consisted of 222 individuals who have Alzheimer’s. Out of those 222, 110 of them had an infection or injury. Those 110 people had double the rate of memory loss than those individuals that did not have any infection or injury.
However, those that had high levels of protein at the beginning of the research, while having acute infections, experienced ten times the memory loss than with low levels of protein or no infections.
The researchers noticed that there was no correlation that those with a severe case of dementia were likely to have higher levels of protein or more infections. Further research is going to be performed to understand whether the tumor necrosis factor-alpha levels affect the brain.
Reducing the levels of necrosis factor-alpha could be helpful for those with Alzheimer’s.